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Some Favorite Quotes…

Ok, so on a bit of a lighter note, several of you have also asked me what some of my favorite film-related quotes are and why. Alright, so first off, it’s important to note that most of my favorite quotes don’t actually come from films, rather from the filmmakers themselves (though I do have many favorite lines from movies). This is by no means a comprehensive list, as I hear so many wonderful remarks on a daily basis from people I work with, but here are a few I’ve really appreciated, and connect with:

“I dream for a living” – Steven Spielberg

…I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s both sad and amazing how true this statement is:

“In Hollywood, it ain’t real until the check clears the bank” – Laurence Andries

Simply well said:

“Sometimes there just aren’t enough rocks” – Forest Gump

One of the best directing notes I’ve ever heard:

“Do it again, but this time… better.” – Chris Chulack directing “ER”

…you just had to be there – oh, and I don’t recommend using that one on your own set unless you know your actors as well as he does ;-).

Ok, this isn’t from a filmmaker, but it’s certainly one of many excellent quotes to live by:

“There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person that makes things happen.” – James Lovell

And a popular one in my own little world that I’ve thought through way too much:

“Filmmaking is kinda like squirrels, they look all cool, cute and fun on the outside, but when you really get to know them, you find out how evil and frustrating they all really are. But hey, that doesn’t mean you stop loving ‘em, it just gives you a valid reason to throw more rocks.”
– JC’s deep thoughts.

There are so many both wonderful, and simply hilarious statements I’ve heard in this industry, some I can repeat, others I can’t (but really, really wish I could). I’ll try to post more at some point down the line.

The SAG Question…

Ok… so if you all haven’t realized it yet, I try to do my best to stray away from somewhat potentially “unpopular” issues on my blog… but there is a point where I start to wonder what’s going through people’s heads, and I was just asked recently by a several people what my views on the potential SAG strike are. So here are my thoughts on the topic, as irrelevant as they may be. As I’m sure you all know, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is on the verge of a strike this coming January, which I honestly have no problem with as an independent filmmaker, but the whole concept to me at this point seems simply ridiculous. After the lengthy WGA strike last year (and it having been resolved), and with nearly all other major industry unions, including the DGA, agreeing to similar deals earlier this year, I just don’t see how SAG can hold out for something just “slightly” better than what everyone else has already agreed to, nor do I see how the industry can possibly take another lengthy walk-out after last year’s WGA strike and now the current down-turn in the national economy. Now, I’m not a member of SAG, WGA or have any relation to the AMPTP (and I’m certainly not prevy to all the gritty details), but from my point of view, the fact that SAG’s own regional board/s (such as that of SAG’s own NY office) are not supporting them in this matter simply begs the question… what exactly are they trying to achieve with another strike? I know it may be an issue of principle as much as anything, but I’m just not terribly convinced that now is the right time to argue that. There’s simply so much talk about many productions going AFTRA if SAG chooses to strike anyway, that it makes me wonder how many (if any) other industry unions will follow suit and support SAG should they choose to strike (especially considering that many of them have already signed new deals separately) and what real affect it will have other then on SAG members themselves. Again, I’m no expert here, nor am I a guild member, but as a festival director and an independent filmmaker, I’ve been recently forced to address how their choice will affect what I do in a number of ways, so I do hope that all of SAG’s voting members think it through thoroughly before casting their ballots in January. I have a great respect for SAG and its members, and I truly hope they make the right decision, whatever that may be. Again, these are just my thoughts, I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on the matter (as I’m aware that many of you may have strong feelings on this issue), so feel free to post comments or shoot me some feedback and let’s see where it takes us…

Back from LA, again…

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. So many amazing (and time consuming) things have been going on with the film, the festival, and a number of other projects I’m working on, that I simply haven’t had a chance to write much here. Anyhow… here’s a brief update:

I just got back from L.A. late last night where I was most of last week to meet with a bunch of people about my feature project (before heading off to Vegas for a conference – see below). The script has simply been doing wonders on its own and has been attracting an unheard-of amount of attention for a project of this size (which is totally awesome by the way). That said, we now have a great number of amazing people on-board for the project… and even more amazing actors interested and/or “in talks” for the project! I was just contacted last week and told that several of the actors we’d been chatting with for the lead roles said “yes” to the project, and we’re in talks with a half-dozen others, which is just amazing considering the (economic) timing and size of the project, but no complaints here! Unfortunately, that’s really about all I can say at this point (I know, I know… you want names), but since most of our cast are still “in talks”, I really just can’t announce anything yet as it might have a diverse affect on the process. I assure you, I’ll let you know as soon as I can.

That said, I also had a great time at the International Film Festival Summit (IFFS) in Vegas this past week. I had a wonderful chance to catch up with several other festival director friends of mine, and meet lots of great new people and hear about what they’re all up to. I also had a chance to meet some of the guys behind the Internet Movie DataBase (IMDb.com), who are working on some great new exciting additions to the IMDb for filmmakers and specifically film festivals for next year. I also had a chance to meet (and in some cases eat dinner with) several of the directors/guys behind Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, IndieWire, FilmFestivals.com, IndieFlix, FilmThreat, Variety, and about 200 other great industry folks. It was great to see so many wonderful people working so hard to support the independent industry in one place, working together… despite a few issues which are all but unavoidable, I’ve enjoyed the IFFS every-year, it was well worth the trip, and I’m looking forward to attending again next year.

I’ll try to give you all another quick update on things before the holidays, as there’s WAY too much in the works here for me to mention in one post. So stay tuned, I’ll try to give you more updates as things get a bit more solidified (both with the 2009 Festival and the Feature). Thanks for tuning in guys!

Oh, and just because I know a lot of you like stats… the OIFF (after the first of our 4-deadlines, spread out over 5-months) to date has received 133 entries from 18 countries globally, and we’re well on our way to break our 532-entry record from last year. The OIFF is open for entries through April 1st of 2009, you can submit your film online at www.oxfordfilms.com.